Appetizer: Steak Tartare
360 Van Brunt St., Red Hook, Brooklyn
Arnaud Erhart’s little bistro opened next to a cremation consultant in Red Hook, so it’s only fitting his steak tartare is the best in town.
Fish Course: Lobster “Noilly Prat”
10 Columbus Circle
Thomas Keller touches his lobster with sweet vermouth and a little disk of candied fennel.
Intermezzo: Crispy Sweetbreads
52 Irving Place
They have a brittle, compulsively tasty crunch like Chicken McNuggets, only much, much better.
Entrée: Les Tripes en Cocotte à l’Armagnac
60 W. 55th St.
An ancient classic, prepared by a master and served, with proper fanfare, under a great silver warmer.
Dessert: Baba au Rhum Monte Carlo Style
55 W. 58th St.
If you want to end your ridiculously rich, over-the-top meal with a bang, this is the way to do it.
Amuse-Bouche: Blistered Peppers
359 W. Bleecker St.
It’s astonishing how something so simple can cause such a ruckus.
Appetizer: Our Own Liverwurst
9 W. 53rd St.
No, it’s nothing like what you remember or fear. A gorgeous, smoothe pâté to cool the spice’s flames.
Pasta Course: Pasta Fiori
10 Columbus Circle
A simple flat noodle tossed with tomato concassé, thyme, and rosemary—but it’s like tasting tomatoes for the first time.
Fish Course: Snapper in Sancocho Broth
155 W. 51st St.
Sancocho is a classic Puerto Rican dish of long-stewed veal, beef, pork, and peppers. Its briny, rich broth ignites a baked snapper. The fish course is no longer the tame one.
Entrée: Boeuf Grillé
If you love steak, who better to leave it to than Thomas Keller, who finds a cut even more flavorful than Black Angus? It doesn’t even need the lovely Bordelaise it comes with. The bone marrow is divine.
Dessert: Coconut Vacherin
60 E. 65th St.
This glistening white circle of half-crunch, half-velvet is dabbed with passion-fruit purée and diced fresh pineapple. It’s citrusy, palate-cleansing, and lush at the same time.
Appetizer: Baby Scallops on Green-Apple Brunoise with Fresh Wasabi, Yuzu, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt
1 Central Park W.
Scallops this sweet and rare inspire daredevil tricks. What makes this work is the wasabi smack and yuzu citrus.
Intermezzo: Shad Roe out of its Sac With Bonito Flakes and Dried Hot Pepper with a Shot of Icy Aquavit
I’ve been eating for decades and never encountered anything like Thomas Keller’s shad in the nude. The aquavit is my idea.
Entrée: Hawaiian Escolar Slowly Poached in Olive Oil with Salad of Lettuce Hearts and Tomato Confit
Its mother would not recognize this white tuna with all the silken sweetness it picks up in Eric Ripert’s hands.
Dessert: Four-Part Citrus Tasting
Citrus is what I crave after so many tastes. Johnny Iuzzini’s unforgettable quartet features grapefruit gelée with blood-orange segments and honey-ginger ice cream, and that’s just for starters.
Amuse-BoucheEdamame with Thai-Basil Lime Oil
113 Ludlow St.
I’d go all-Asian. These are the plumpest, freshest soybeans in town, imbued with a zesty citric zing.
Appetizer: Galangal-and-Coconut Soup with Chicken Lemongrass, and Kaffir Lime
60 Thompson St.
A coconut-creamy, chili-fired tom kha gai to put all others to shame.
Entrée: Jungle Curry
64-13 39th Ave., Woodside
Unrestrainedly spiced and fully flavored—one of countless reasons to make a Woodside pilgrimage.
Salad: Mung Chaat
8 E. 18th St.
A crunchy, palate-cleansing construction of pappadam (lentil wafers) and mung beans.
Dessert: Sesame Sundae
246 E. 44th St.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato’s sesame ice cream layered with caramel, toasted sesame seeds, and chunks of dense, rich halvah.
Zuppa: Cappellitti in Brodo
141 E. 57th St.
The opening bid in my ultimate pastivore’s tasting menu: delicate veal-stuffed dumplings in a capon broth so rich and soothing, just looking at it can cure a cold.
Primo: Housemade Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil
45 Tudor City Pl.
The essence of Italian cooking: a simple dish that transcends its simplicity.
Secondo: Orecchiette with Sweet Sausage and Rapini
110 Waverly Pl.
It’s almost impossible to pick just one Babbo pasta, but if forced, I’d go with the exquisitely chewy orecchiette.
Contorno: Potato Gnocchi
403 E. 12th St.
Marco Canora’s signature side: rich, buttery, and as light as cotton candy.
Dolce: Polenta Nera
240 Central Park S.
Not a pasta, but a good way to end the starchfest: It’s served warm with dark chocolate, hazelnut, and whipped cream on top.